"The Painted Bird" wins Cinema for UNICEF award in Venice

"The Painted Bird" by Czech director Václav Marhoul received the Cinema for UNICEF award from a student jury at the international film festival in Venice on Friday.The award is traditionally given to the film that best addresses children's rights issues.

Adapted from the 1965 novel of the same name by Polish-American writer Jerzy Kosinski, "The Painted Bird" is set in the Eastern Europe's countryside in the final phase of World War II, seen through the eyes of a little boy who encounters cruelty and violence.

Václav Marhoul said the award was fantastic news because it showed that young people had understood his film and its message.“Some critics wrote that the movie is all about brutality and violence, but the young audience saw exactly what I intended them to see: hope, light and humanity, so they actually counterbalanced some people's opinions,"Marhoul told the ctk news agency .

"The Painted Bird is not a war film, nor even a Holocaust film... the story forces us to ask ourselves many unpleasant questions, and to seek often very painful answers," Marhoul explained at the movie's presentation.

The film is competing for the festival‘s main award, the Golden Lion.